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Cream of Shiitake Mushroom Soup for a Strong Immune System

You’ll love this super-creamy cream of shiitake mushroom soup – just right to nourish you and your immune system.

Shiitake mushrooms have a rich, earthy flavor and a distinctive taste best described as meaty, but they can be expensive to get fresh, and the dehydrated options end up all-too leathery to make a good soup from.

The solution: using powdered shiitake mushrooms – and you can choose between 25% and 50% β-glucans (one of the naturally-occuring health-giving properties of medicinal mushrooms).

What makes this mushroom soup stand out from the rest? Simple: it is boosted with shiitake mushroom powder to give you flavour in every mouthful – you can taste how good it is for you. And the addition of blended cashew nuts gives a protein-rich boost to turn this cream of shiitake mushroom soup into a hearty meal option.

Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are naturally high in β-glucans, including Lentinan, which has been widely studied mainly for its immunomodulatory activity. These compounds protect against cell damage, help your immune system, and boost white blood cell production for fighting off microbes.

Polysaccharides also have anti-inflammatory properties and lentinans were shown in a study using mice to protect against the damaging effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS is an endotoxin produced by gram-negative bacteria that is associated with inflammatory changes and aggravation of health challenges.

This study found that regular consumption of shiitake mushrooms results in improved immunity.

Get going with this combination of garlic, onions, and mushrooms plus the boost of powdered shiitake mushrooms and lashings of fresh thyme and turn a delicious favourite into an immune-health hero! 

You’ll find that this cream of shiitake mushroom soup is not like other mushroom soups that are typically chopped up bits of mushroom floating in a flavoured creamy soup base. This unique cream of shiitake soup is 100% mushroom flavour – down to the last spoonful!

Cream of Shiitake Mushroom Soup

INGREDIENTS (serves 6-8)

2 onions – chopped

3 cloves of garlic – crushed

1 kg mushrooms (button mushrooms or a mix of button and portobello)

2 tblsp shiitake mushroom powder

1 Litre chicken stock (thawed, but unheated) (substitute for vegetable stock if vegetarian).

1 tblsp olive oil and 1 tbslp butter

A good sprig of fresh thyme and parsley, tied in a bouquet garni

Salt

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Extra button mushrooms and chopped garlic chives or parsley to garnish

1/4 cup cashew nuts, cream or crème fraiche (optional)

METHOD
  1. Sauté the chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil and butter for 5 minutes over medium heat until softened and glassy.
  2. Add the roughly chopped mushrooms, salt and plenty of cracked black pepper. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes – stir regularly until they become soft.
  3. Add the bouquet garni, shiitake mushroom powder, then turn the heat down to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat off, remove the bouquet garni and add half the (cold) chicken broth.
  5. Transfer in batches to your Omniblend – ensure you don’t fill more than 3/4 full. Add cashew nuts if using them.
  6. Place the lid on firmly, remove the lid bung to reveal the hole in the lid. Cover the hole with a clean dishcloth or tea-towel.  (IMPORTANT: this is to prevent the lid blowing off while blending).
  7. Start your blender on LOW until everything is combined. then process for 35 seconds or until smooth
  8. Return the blended soup to the pot and add the other half of the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. If using cream or crème fraiche, add just before turning off the heat. Stir to combine.
  10. Serve into into bowls and garnish with golden sautéed slices of mushrooms and chopped garlic chives or parsley.

Enjoy your homemade cream of shiitake mushroom soup with fresh crusty bread or home-made rye sourdough.

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